Challenges Facing Big Data Today

big dataNot long ago, the subject of big data was just a niche topic. Fast forward, today, big data is the fuel driving most data-driven businesses. Companies are using big data in forming strategies, making operations efficient and accelerating the growth of their companies. Businesses such as Fredericksburg Towing Service that have not yet adopted the use of big data are now planning to incorporate it in as soon as possible.

Startups are the most affected when it comes to the adoption of big data. Here are the main challenges facing big data today.

The Lack of Talent

The big data market is severely underserved by skilled talent. Organizations are formulating an increase in their IT budgets to accommodate prominent data personnel. While the demand for this talent continues to sew up, there is no easy solution to fix the shortage of talent the market is experiencing. According to estimates from the McKinsey Global Institute, the US market is currently facing a shortage of 1.7 prominent data professionals.

Talent Cost

talentWhen it comes to leveraging data, more than 71 per cent of businesses and IT organizations find themselves lagging. The cost of acquiring talent is very high. There is the need for organizations to improve the overall talent capabilities regarding education and the existing workforce. The shallow talent we have on the market calls for thorough training to be able to cope up with the demands of big data. Improving skill through education, training and acquisition proves to be very expensive.

Mis-education

There is a lot of misinformation and miseducation on the market that is pushing organizations to adopt big data blindly without weighing on its benefits. Some organizations are eagerly and blindly embracing tools that do not necessarily meet their needs and issues. Another complication is that big data platforms are inherently complex and thick to work with. These issues make it more challenging for vendors to customize the platforms according to various customer demands and needs.

Funding

The significant data sector and grown more crowded and doesn’t guarantee high rates of return to investors. It is tough for startups to stay ahead of their game on top of the pack because many companies use similar technologies. The global spending of big data continues to rise. Big companies such as Microsoft, SAP and IBM have an infinite budget. Although this is good, such budgets are a huge killer to startups; there is too much competition. The bottom line is that building a successful big data business is a tall order and not for the faint-hearted. But if startups prepare for these challenges, they shall eventually make it.

 

 

Top Ways to Protect Sensitive Data in an Organization

data policyIn today’s digital age, to keep an organization’s sensitive data secure from theft and vulnerability is not an easy task. There are many ways information ends up in the wrong hands and protecting it becomes harder by the day. In today’s business world, knowledge is the key to growth. Whether you are protecting customers’ payment information, sensitive information, employee data or even strategic business intelligence, there are critical steps you have to follow.

To protect your information such that it doesn’t leak to the public space, you have to take the necessary steps to secure your organization’s sensitive data.

Create a Data Policy

Create a policy that helps to identify and handle sensitive data. If an organization is not in a position to make a difference between sensitive and non-sensitive data, then securing it becomes a big problem. An organization needs to have a codified data policy that outlines the types of data considered confidential. Such an organization should also define a strict process for identifying these different data types. Tiers of data types should be classified as restricted, private or public. Restricted data is highly sensitive data that can cause severe damage to an organization if it leaks. Private information is moderately sensitive and possess a relatively low risk. Public data is non-sensitive and possesses no risk.

Use Encryption

safetyYou need to use encryption to protect moving data. Organization need to understand the importance of securing data within their network and implement security measures to protect it within the perimeters of their IT systems and thus prevent unauthorized access. Sensitive data will always be on the move as it is getting accessed by all types of people. To protect information that is on the move and getting accessed by different people, it needs to be encrypted and be confined in a secure environment.

Use Secure Software

In your organization, you need to choose and use the secure software at all times. Software developers use a tremendous amount of variance regarding their security standards. Your choice of software should at all times be safe to decrease any likelihood of attackers accessing your sensitive information. If you are using software that is not secure, it can be a huge problem, especially when storing customer payment information.

Password Security

To secure your data in an organization, you need to improve your password security. Some data breaches are caused by allowing mistakes in the underlying information security. The use of weak passwords is a well-known problem that can significantly compromise the security of data in an organization. Those heading security organs in an organization should roll out a password management application to secure data.

Security Awareness

Organizations should strive to develop a culture of security awareness and education.  In an organization, employees are the most valuable security assets. When you create a culture of security awareness, it helps employees identify potential issues affecting data. In that way, they are able to disclose mistakes and issues likely to affect data.  ELearning programs and courses can help educate employees on matters of data security.

How Your Information is Stolen Online

 

cybercrimeThe world is more connected than ever, and this means our data and information is readily available from various quotas. With the inter-connectivity of the internet, we need to ensure that our data falls into the right hands. There are surprisingly different ways in which criminals can use your information to commit various types of crime.

The good news is that you don’t have to be vulnerable to identity theft as there are different ways you can keep yourself protected. But before we look at these ways of protecting yourself, let us first look at various ways your information is stolen online.

 

Unsecured Websites

Every time you shop or make a transaction online, there are chances that identity thieves are intercepting your personal information. It is quite easy to know if a site is secure or not. Before you make an online payment, ensure that the site has an SSL certificate, such that its URL starts with “https.” In case of identity theft, then identity theft services can help secure your information online.

 

Phishing

Phishing refers to an email-based scam whereby a thief poses as a real organization, company or an agency. They then prompt you to enter personal information such as credit card, bank accounts, address or related information. They then use this information for their good and to steal from you. To protect yourself from phishing, ensure that you are keen on email attachments you receive, to avoid clicking links that may be malicious.

Hacking

hackingHacking is one of the most common ways in which information is stolen online. Tech-savvy cybercriminals hack into computer systems including banks and other relevant sources to steal vital information. In most cases, organizations that are well protected from hacking issues alert their customers whenever there is a security breach. If you think your data has been compromised, the best you can do is to seek the services of an expert to have it restored and secured.

Credit Card Theft

Most people use credit cards everywhere be it in supermarkets, gas stations, and coffee shops among others. This means credit cards pass through different hands offering different opportunities for thieves to steal your credit card numbers. To solve the menace of having your credit card details stolen, stick to terminals that allow you to swipe your cards and do not let your cards get out of sight through an attendant.

 

Social Media

Cybercriminals can wittingly get access over your social media accounts and impersonate you. You may receive a message from a friend that says they are on vacation abroad, lost their credit cards, wallet and other valuables and can’t get home. In such cases, they beg for your help to send them some cash to enable them to reach home, with a promise to repay back. These are scammers out there to steal your hard earned money, beware! Others may take control of your accounts and demand a certain ransom to give you access to your accounts or data, in what we call ransomware.

 

How to Protect Your Privacy Online

 

privacyIn this era we are living, protecting your privacy online is a must, if you want to stay safe from the world’s evils. The internet has become an essential resource for all of us, as we rely on it to send and receive emails, post and share photos and messages across various social media platforms, transact online, communicate, network, search for information among other tasks. Spots such as free public Wi-Fi hotspots are also very common. Unfortunately, some of us are too casual or rather a bit reckless to ensure that we are secure online.

As you visit a website, post an update on social media, login to your email or do any online activity, you leave digital footprints that can be tracked and traced to reveal your identity. If your personal and private information falls into wrong hands, it could be very costly and damaging to you. It could equally cause a lot of inconveniences.

Who is Watching and Tracking You?

Every time you go online to read your emails, update your status on social media, visit forums and other places, your activities can be monitored and spied upon by many people. Your internet service provider can have access to your digital footprints. Your ISP assigns an IP address to your device every time you want to connect to the internet. And since your ISP knows your IP address, they can equally identify your name and location.

online privacyOthers who have access to your information include advertisers and corporations. Your online information is very valuable to these people. Companies mine your data as it helps advertisers know which products and services they should promote and sell to you.

Others who have access to your online information include your employer, hackers and cybercriminals and the government. The government may be spying on you. They may also demand certain information from companies such as Google in its efforts to issues of national security.

 

Ways to Protect Your Online Identity

The fact remains that you probably won’t have a total control over who are monitoring and spying on you online. However, there are certain steps you can take to reduce the risks. The more informed you become on the tools and methods of protection available, the more you can do to reduce these risks online.

First, do an assessment of your online activities. Identify the types of private and personal information you are storing and sharing on your computers, social media, and mobile devices. How safe are these places you are storing your information? What would be the consequences if your personal information falls into wrong hands?

Install the latest antivirus software on your devices. Also, keep in mind that antivirus software protects only your devices and not your internet connection. If you want to surf anonymously, use a personal VPN- a virtual private network that protects your computer and secures your browsing session.  Also, be very careful about what you share online as such information can be used against you. Follow various safety rules provided by companies while in use of their services.